Thursday, 20 October 2016

Martin Pursglove RIP

Today we cremated my only brother Martin Pursglove

A life such as his cannot be summed up in a few words.

Martin making friends with a pigeon at Riber Castle Zoo
Martin Photographing me photographing Martin at RAF Newton
Hanging out at Mansfield Mines Rescue Station in the 1970's
Martin and a group of Scouts atop a big hill
Just time for a quick tea break at the Warsop Scout Camp in the 1980's
Martin with his son David at Rufford Park.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Flight Sim 2016

This morning was to be my day at Flight Sim 2016 at RAF Cosford.  Lunch and notes packed, I pulled the car out of the garage and "ping" the handbrake fell apart - good start.
That was 3 hours spent at Malvern Tyres in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent - they did an excellent job in difficult circumstances.
By noon, I had purchased a newspaper, consumed coffee, and watched cars being fixed.  Having dropped the newspaper at home in my repaired vehicle, I decided to drive down to Cosford for the afternoon.  It was worth it (Though the goody bag was a bit sparse at that time of day).
The stalls were in hanger 1 and I was pleased by the quality of the split screens that were on display.
All of the latest controllers and wide screens were available to try out and the virtual headsets were showing this year - they are much improved if you don't mind being enclosed in a virtual bubble.
The main reason for going was to hear Austin Meyer's talk on the new X-Plane 11.  This looks like a significant improvement to the simulation, bringing commercial and entertainment simulations much closer to the real world look.  Now I know what I want for Christmas.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Autumn is offically upon us

 During the Autumn season, fungi can be seen in abundance if you know where to look.  This Boletus is an edible variety, but I would not choose this specimen as it is growing in an area where I know there has been spraying of weed killer.
 Another clear sign of Aurumn is when the normally absent summer birds appear on the bird feeders as natural food is getting a little scarce.  I love to see the Long Tailed Tits in the garden at this time of year.  The Goldfinches will soon be back.
 Rose Bay Willowherb is shedding its fairy seeds.  These seeds will spread this annoying weed across gardens and farmland countrywide.  It is a plant that will sucessfully colonise any bare ground.
Of course, the classic sign of Autumn is the leaf fall.  We will soon be kicking leaves around the street again (and imported Christmas goods will soon be in all of the shops!).

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Go fly a kite

 A couple of months ago I received a pterosaur kite from a company in Dorset.  With such good weather and a bit of time to spare, now was a good time to go fly a kite.  This little beast is assembled and just needs two spars and a flight line attaching to spread its wings.
 A minor adjustment to the harness and a tug on the cord did the job.
 Now I can say I have flown a pterosaur over the hills and far away.  It is a long time since I have flown a kite.  The last time I seriously did so was at an event in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
 Back home and its a bread treat for supper.  This is a milk soda bread with honey and dill.  It takes 10 minutes to mix and warm up the oven, 15 minutes to bake and 20 minutes to cool.
 This bread is a bit like a firm piece of cake.
Goes well with a tuna and bean salad on a sunny September evening in the garden.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Trentham Monkey Forest

Today we spent the morning in Hanley and ventured home for lunch.  I had been intending to visit the Monkey Forest for some time to see the youngsters and this afternoon turned out to be the day.

Here are a few pictures that I took on our visit.

Phew! what an interesting day........
These are Barbary macaques and they are free roaming so that visitors can see them at close quarters.  Well worth a visit if you like this sort of thing.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

I hate coding bugs

Over the last two days, I have been encoding a PHP app to list the museums on my Pterosaur Database.  It was one of those times when an invisible gremlin invades the mind.  This program just would not run correctly - and I could not see why.
Here, the numbers at the top of the print are there to see how many times the selection tests are activated.  Every time, the software is showing me that it is flowing correctly, but it would not do the job.  Hours of checking and re-scripting was getting me nowhere fast.  Have a cuppa, go for a walk have another go - nothing was right.  Argh!!
Then in a moment of chance and delight, I spotted the culprit - A lower case c where I needed an upper case C.  Basic student error?  OK, no one will know if I keep quiet about it.......
Life can be a problem at times and it is always the little things that tip the balance between sanity and frustration.  All is well now and the data search is working as I intended it to do.

Time to remove the tomato plants from the greenhouse.  That should be less demanding of my sanity.
Another job done.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Piglet's Porter

I have been looking for a Pilatus Porter to add to my simulated fleet for some time and have just found this Freeware version by Tim Conrad (Piglet's Peculiar Planes).  It is a Pilatus PC-6C H2 Turbo Porter.
For a first trip I decided to fly this sim aircraft from Papa Stour in the Shetlands, to Fair Isle.
The general layout and texture of the model is very good.  It also handles well on the ground and at take off, and with restricted forward visibility the low side windows are very useful for runway control.
The handling on approach to Fairisle was straight forward and this model is a good aircraft to fly and control first time around.
The Turbo Porter needed about 1000 feet of runway for a standard landing.  Ground handling requires a higher level of skill than aircraft with a trike undercarriage.
I can see why many uitility pilots like this aircraft.  It is a very functional machine on short runways.